Chris Davis has had a rough couple of seasons on the field. Off it? He remains one of the biggest stars in the game.
The Orioles slugger and his wife, Jill, donated a whopping $3 million to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Per a release, it was the largest donation ever received by the hospital from a Baltimore athlete.
The gift is earmarked for hospital expansion, in an effort to provide top-notch care for the most seriously ill children.
“This is a cause that is close to our hearts,” Davis says in the press release. “Everyone at the hospital has inspired our family – from the patients and families who show such courage in the face of overwhelming challenges, to the medical professionals and caregivers who dedicate their careers to saving and improving lives.”
Davis famously signed the largest contract in franchise history, so the money is certainly within his budget, but this is still a remarkable gift to give to the city.
The Davis family has been involved with the children’s hospital for years, and plenty of local athletes have served important roles within the community, but this is going a step above for a player dealing with major struggles on the diamond.
With acts of generosity like this one, it’s no surprise Davis has been named the Orioles’ nominee for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente award, given to individual players based on their character and community involvement, for three straight seasons. Carlos Carrasco of the Indians won the 2019 Roberte Clemente award last month.
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Wednesday has already brought a flurry of transactions in Major League Baseball, and the Orioles got in on the frenzy by trading Dylan Bundy to the Angels.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Baltimore sent Bundy to LA in exchange for Triple-A pitching prospect Isaac Mattson. Jeff Passan reported that the three pitchers included in the package to Baltimore are Zach Peek, Kyle Bradish and Kyle Brnovich.
The Orioles took Bundy fourth overall in the 2011 draft, but the right-hander wasn't able to become the ace they were hoping for in his first four seasons in the big leagues.
In 2019 he went 7-14 with a 4.79 ERA over 161 innings pitched. His ERA never dipped below 4.00 during his tenure with the Orioles.
Mattson was a 19th round pick by the Angels in 2017 and has yet to make an appearance in the majors. Last season he threw 73.1 innings for three different minor-league clubs and posted a 2.33 ERA with an opponent batting average of .184.
Peek and Brnovich are both 2019 draft picks, while Bradish threw 101 innings in the California league last season. He posted a 4.28 ERA and .235 opponent batting average in 18 starts.
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The Baltimore Orioles may be in need of a new starting second baseman after reportedly waiving Jonathan Villar on Wednesday, giving other teams the opportunity to claim him before he likely becomes a free agent on Monday.
Villar, projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $10.4 million in his final year of arbitration, played all 162 games for the Orioles last season. He hit .274 with a .792 OPS while setting a career high in home runs (24) and stealing 40 bases.
The 28-year-old provides most of his value with his legs, with which he’s stolen 160 bases since 2016—second in baseball over that span behind only Billy Hamilton (173). Villar can also play multiple infield positions, logging over 300 career games at both second base and shortstop with experience at third and the outfield as well.
If Villar isn’t claimed by Monday, the Orioles will either negotiate a cheaper salary or non-tender a contract to him and allow him to become a free agent. With a weak free agent class at both second base and shortstop, Villar would likely have no problem finding a new employer for his services.
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